Relocating a Trapped Opossum

If you’ve already successfully trapped an opossum, chances are, you’re wondering what to do with it now.  While killing the animal on sight is an option (depending on local laws, of course), relocation is often a much more feasible and humane option.

Who to Consult

Wildlife rehabilitators and other wildlife experts are the best sources of information in cases like these.  They often have years of expertise with every kind of animal you can imagine, and knowledge of local laws that you may lack.  So contacting a professional in this field is an easy first step in dealing with your newly captured prisoner.  If you have already made the decision to relocate this animal, there are some crucial tips that should be followed to ensure both that the animal stays safe and that you are not bothered by the same critter again.  

While organizations like Native Animal Rescue recommend releasing captured opossums and other animals as close to the capture point as possible, this can be unreasonable for most people.  The whole reason you want to relocate your marsupial invader is to make sure they have as small a chance as possible of returning to your home.  That said, there are some ways to relocate your captured opossum in ways that will ensure the safety of both you and the animal.


There are a lot of considerations to factor into this decision, the most obvious being laws, environment, and personal preference.  Releasing an opossum may sound easy, but there are some things to keep in mind to ensure that it is released humanely and in a way that will make sure it doesn’t simply find its way back to your house or backyard to terrorize you even more than it already has.

  • Be sure to release them at night. This is the first, and most important, thing to consider when releasing an opossum: they are nocturnal creatures.  Releasing these animals during the day would be almost on par with outright killing them, because they are not able to find shelter or hide from predators the way they normally would. 
  • Double-check that your release point has as many trees and bushes as possible. This is important, as this gives these nocturnal members of the animal kingdom a chance to hide from predators. 
  • Finally, make sure you release the opossum as far from your home as possible, while also fulfilling the previously mentioned requirements. This will help you be absolutely certain that you won’t get any repeat visitors.

Even though the above steps may sound like a lot of work, making sure that the opossum stays safe while also keeping it away from your house creates a win-win situation.  You are no longer bothered by it, and the opossum can continue its life in a safe environment.